It’s Work Stress Week. A good time to check your own stress levels. The statistics don’t lie: over 30% of employees experience structural work stress. And 15% have symptoms of burnout. Here are 6 tips to stay mentally fit in the workplace. But first, what exactly is work stress?
What is work stress?
Work stress does not have to be caused by the work situation alone. The combination of a heavy workload with a heavy personal load can also result in stress symptoms. And eventually lead to impaired functioning at work, or worse: burnout.
Of course, everyone experiences work pressure differently and some are more sensitive to it than others. Do you find it hard to say no? Are you a perfectionist or afraid of making mistakes? Then chances are you are more susceptible to stress.
Doing nothing does not help
So just do nothing at all then for a while or take a week’s holiday for a quick recovery? Forget it, as leading neuropsychologist Erik Scherder discovered. Because there are many factors involved in work stress, there is no single solution to stop or reduce stress. Rather, it requires a combination of changes in multiple areas.
1. Learn more
People experience stress when they think they cannot do something. It can’t hurt to brush up on your skills and knowledge anyway. This does not necessarily mean attending (expensive) training. It can also involve a challenging project that allows you to develop yourself, or asking a more experienced colleague to mentor you.
2. Where do you get energy from?
Don’t focus on reducing tasks, but think about what energises you. If necessary, make a list of things that sap energy and those that provide an energy boost. Do this together with your team to see if any work that takes energy away from you gives someone else a boost.
3. Stop multitasking
We all think we can multitask, but actually that’s not the case at all. It results in a lot of chaos in your brain. So focus on one thing, finish that and then move on. Draw up a to-do list and work through it.
4. Don’t delay anything
A major cause of work stress is procrastination. As tempting as it is to save the tricky jobs until last, it often results in too much work in too little time. Plan space in your diary for your ‘downers’. Pick a time when you have something fun afterwards. For example, Friday morning because you can look forward to Friday afternoon drinks. Or on the day when you have your regular sports night with friends.
5. Alternate between thinking and moving
“I really don’t have time to take a short break more often, and no energy for exercise at all.” That’s a logical thought when your head is full to the brim. In fact, you can clear that head by alternating thinking and doing tasks and moving more. Skipping a run at lunchtime because you can’t get on top of your work? You are probably more productive in the afternoon after that run than if you just carry on working.
6. Raise the subject of your workload
Digging deep and continuing to work hard shows a lot of commitment, but a burnt-out employee is no good to anyone. Don’t be embarrassed and take yourself seriously. Identify the issues, enlist the help of friends, colleagues, family or professional counsellors and get to the root cause of your high level of stress. Simply raising the subject reduces work stress.
How financially fit are you?
Besides a healthy life, you want a healthy pension. By staying aware of the pension market and react to it in a flexible way, we keep your pension in top condition. Do you already have a pension scheme with BeFrank? Then you can see how your pension is doing on your Personal Pension page. Here you will also find the most important updates. Do you not have a pension scheme with BeFrank yet? Ask your employer about the possibilities.